Lonely Planet Writer

China's richest man plans Oz dinosaur theme park

Australia‘s tourism industry is poised for a major fillip if the plans by China’s richest man for a multi-billion dollar Jurassic Park-style theme park is given the go ahead on the Gold Coast.

The Gold Coast has been described as a "perfect" spot for the building of a major new theme park
The Gold Coast has been described as a “perfect” spot for the building of a major new theme park Image by Xiquinho Silva / CC BY 2.0

Wang Jianlin, Wanda’s chief executive worth aus$37billion, has signalled his intention of building a “major” theme park as he reportedly seeks a controlling interest in the company which produced Jurassic World – Legendary Entertainment.

The Gold Coast could be the centre of a major new theme park backed by China's richest man
The Gold Coast could be the centre of a major new theme park backed by China’s richest man Image by Mickey Views / CC BY 2.0

The move fits in with Wanda’s plans to become a major player in the lucrative film production and attraction park industry after previously taking over Hoyts cinema chain and AMC Entertainment Holdings.

News.com.au reported that it was estimated by Bloomberg that the leading entrepreneur would probably need to come up with at least 50% of Legendary Entertainment’s $4 billion net worth to gain the major shareholding

The Gold Coast Bulletin quotes Citi group equity researchers as saying the proposed development would be a massive tourism drawcard. They envisage that there would be the opportunity to boost theme park attendances on the Gold Coast by 10% or almost bring the number to 11 million visitors in the first full year.

The possible building of a new park comes at a time when an independent report shows existing theme parks would still need to find an extra five million customers to compensate for lost market share.

The State Development Minister’s office said that because of commercial-in-confidence, they were unable to comment on negotiations with the Wanda Group.

However there was a warm welcome by the business community for the proposed theme park with Gary Mays, the Northern Chamber of Commerce president believing the development would have “sweeping benefits” for the city.

Stressing that the area needed this to happen, he pointed out that it would bring in more international tourists and create “heaps of fulltime jobs”.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said she was working alongside the local tourism industry to ensure there would be an increase in the number of visitors holidaying on the Gold Coast.

The Wanda group has already invested heavily on the Gold Coast and last year the group’s general manager Xie Hong told the Bulletin of their plans to establish a new theme park there.

Mr Xie said the Gold Coast was a perfect setting but the project was under negotiation with the state authorties.